In those periods where doubts of God surrounded me, it was the natural world
that testified of Him to me.
Me too Twin Lights, me too!
"Another remarkable fact about morality is that it seems to come from
outside of us, even above us. "What utter and complete nonsense.
A simple "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" creates an
incredible sense of "morality". There is nothing "outside or above
us" about it.
It's entirely reasonable that the principles governing human behavior have
been discovered through experiences and deducted through the exercise of
reason.Aristotle rejected the theory that morality comes from some
higher power that endowed humanity with a set of universal morals. Rather, he
preferred a model of reality grounded in humanities distinct power to reason
drawn directly from our experiences. Morality is learned from our
experiences through a chain of events that enables us to develop a set of
standards and general principles that work to maintain an orderly society.
Simply put, morality is the result of a set of rules that has evolved through
trial and error...an approach to solving problems through a propensity to affect
the survival of a host population.The primary tenet of morality is
rationality where morals become an application of the role of reason which
subsequently results in a code of values that guide human choices as a means of
survival. It's for the purpose of self-preservation that humanity has
intellectually created a code of morality, not because of some supernatural law
giver who would test someone's ability to obey a commandment with threats
of punishment and damnation.
@ RanchHand. Just because you have failed to observe evidence of morality coming
from outside or above us, doesn't mean millions of others have not. Failure
to observe is the saddest of all commentaries about a mans life, especially when
there is so much of it around us!
That morality exists across cultural and religious lines suggests to me that it
well could be a product of evolution, since religion is totally subjective and
does not demonstrate itself as being a necessary component of morality. Non
religious persons, or those of wildly different faiths, can be moral. However,
if one is to argue that morality is a product of an intelligent designer, it is
a mighty leap of logic to believe it justifies the existence and imposition of
your god over mine, or anyone elses.
Once again, an amateurish, cherry picked mash up of context-less quotes from
poets, philosophers, and theoretical physicists, trying to resurrect the
teleological argument mashed up with the argument from morality.Trouble is, if the Grand Watchmaker designed the universe to serve any
purpose, Sandy as well as countless "acts of god", biological toxins,
bacterial critters, and the like support the idea that the Watchmaker was either
incompetent or determined to murder the human race in cold blood.And
it is peculiar for a Mormon to invoke the argument from morality when such an
argument rests on the existence of an absolute, universal, unchangeable and
objective moral reality that could not possibly hold if Nephi's
assassination of Laban and if Jesus' coercive threats to destroy crowds of
survivors (3Nephi) are considered "moral".The morally
bankrupt gnosticism of Peterson's assertions is evident and lethal to his
This article makes some strange and unjustifiable leaps in logic. 1st off,
Peterson concedes that all the laws of physics were in place an
“unbelievably tiny” fraction of a second after the Big Bang, but
then goes on to imply a Designer of everything including our innate sense of
morality. As far as I know Dawkins would have nothing to say about anything
prior to the Big Bang – his point, and the point of science in general is
simply that the laws of physics (evolution being an end product of those laws)
are enough to explain what we see in the Universe, including us. And
most scientists and atheists would not deny the possibility of the kind of God
believed by Vedanta Hinduism, Einstein or even the poet Browning. What they tend
to not believe in is the childish old-man-in-white-beard who waves a magic wand
(suspending the laws of physics) every time he wants change something in the
Universe. What they typically say is “there is no evidence that such a
Morality is a learned disposition acquired from associations with fellow
creatures of our own species. The divine force we loosely call God might be a
creature of human imagination but what a powerful concept it is and with such
irrepressible force. Even if it’s the evidence of little more than human
yearnings, the need to know and understand who and what we are does distinguish
us as a species. What drives us to excavate fossil remains of creatures who
walked the Earth a hundred million years ago. Why do we contemplate these fellow
earthlings of times past with such a sense of awe and wonder?I have
fond childhood memories of sitting on the grass on summer evenings with my
brother and sister as Dad pointed into the night sky showing us how to locate
the Big Dipper and other constellations. He would explain that it took millions
of years for the light from the stars to reach Earth. He’s no longer with
us but as I recall those memories it’s almost like having what we call a
Ranchhand, you seem to believe that everyone has some sort of moral compass that
says murder is wrong and torturing kittens is not good, and that "do unto
others as you would have them do unto you" will create this community of
believers that will make the world whole and wonderful, without God,of course.
This rationale "is utter and complete nonsense." Without God, there is
no moral compass, no community of values. Both Hitler and Stalin were quite
comfortably "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you." Or
course, it had to be pointed out to them with a rather pointed sword that they
were wrong. In the meantime, men and women can go on living in a naive and
delusional state that "everyone" surely knows what is right and wrong
without God. Ask the tortured kittens about that one. They certainly
don't want to wait until "community" values kick in! As Dostoevsky
said, "If there is no God, everything is permitted." Being naive is no
excuse for ignorance of what human nature is capable of without God.
Tyler DI too do not believe in “the old-man-in-white-beard who
waves a magic wand (suspending the laws of physics) every time he wants change
something in the Universe.”The ScientistLet’s deal with the “Grand Watchmaker” later. As to
morality. What allows such things as death in the Bible or BOM is understanding
that birth is not the beginning and death is not the end. In that context, the
morality is more understandable.HutteriteAgreed that
“Non religious persons, or those of wildly different faiths, can be
moral.” But in most cultures, it is religion that is the source of
morality. Let that culture go a few generations without religion and the
morality dwindles.Weber State GraduateReason is a
powerful tool but it is a cold light - lacking the warmth that endows human
morality with more than just logic. If left to reason alone, could we not
easily justify many acts that we now consider immoral? I think most of us
could.I do not obey because of threats. Most I know do not.RanchHand,Yes it does. Who was it who said that?
I just love the viscious attacks on Dr. Peterson by atheists and self named
anonymous posters on an article in the Religion section of this website. It
just testifies to me that those who are commenting on here are so insecure in
their beleifs that they feel compelled to bloviate in opposition in order to
fill some measure of what they lack. Astounding.
RE: Twin Lights, it was the natural world that testified of Him to me. True,General Revelation, Atheists claim that there is not enough reason to
believe God exists. Romans 1, Paul proves otherwise. All men see God in creation
but suppress the evidence in sin. “noetic effects of sin.”Paul
is not saying that the human faculty for thinking is destroyed by sin.”
The non-Christian can know some truth. If the faculty to reason was destroyed,
truth could never be known and God could not condemn people for denying it.RE: Craig Clark, Original Sin,:.. every inclination of his heart is
evil from childhood. Gen 8:21;. Behold, I was sharpened in iniquity; in sin
did my mother conceive me. (Ps 51:5)..C.S. Lewis ,”I think we
probably differ about the meaning of creation. I take it to mean, to cause to
be, with-out pre-existing material, to cause both form and matter of something
pre-conceived in the Causer’s thought which after creation, is other than
the Cause. Aseity.Even J.P Sarte understood. “The finite makes
no since without the infinite.
I can't believe that all I have learned, all I have experienced and all
that I have loved in my life have no meaning, no purpose and are
"accidents" which is the case if you are an atheist. I can not imagine
anything more discouraging, more disheartening and more bleak. If these things
do not belong to me forever, what are they for? Nothing? Can't comprehend
living and thinking like that.
Twin Lights“I too do not believe in “the
old-man-in-white-beard who waves a magic wand (suspending the laws of physics)
every time he wants change something in the Universe.”But
isn’t this precisely the sorts of events (miracles) we read about in the
Bible? And how do explain the fact that while these things seemed to occur on a
regular basis in the Iron Age, there is no credible evidence that the laws of
nature have ever been suspended in modern times?Coach BiffI’m sorry you feel this way. Speaking only for myself, I meant nothing
malicious and certainly don’t feel insecure about following logic and
evidence wherever it might lead. Perhaps you are projecting some of your own
feelings onto others. As to why I commented on this article, I
simply believe in (and enjoy) conversation and the marketplace of ideas. And
frankly, living in an information bubble of like-minded people is not only
boring but somehow feels un-American. Our democracy was founded on dialogue and
we shouldn’t fear it.
Look at humans, chimpanzees and bonobos monkeys. The DNA is so similar. Humans
and Chimpanzees are violent, to the point of killing one another. The
Bonobo monkey, looks almost identical to the chimpanzee but are not violent with
one another. Chimps and Bonobos evolved in the same part of Africa, only
separated by a wide river. Bonobos evolved peaceful genes while the common
ansestor of humans and chimps evolved with a violence about them.It would
appear morals are indeed evolved.
It's absolutely amazing to think of all the details and arguments and
issues and objections that Peterson didn't address, and all the contexts he
didn't provide, in this enormously long article of his. The man had almost
740 words to work with!
sharrona,C.S. Lewis ,”I think we probably differ about the
meaning of creation. I take it to mean, to cause to be, with-out pre-existing
elements are eternal" (D&C 93:33)."There is no such
thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter." (D&C 131: 7-8)What's the mathematical probability that when Einstein postulated
the equivalence of matter and energy (E=MC2), he might have been channeling
Joseph Smith at the expense of C.S. Lewis?
I am an engineer. I understand both the necessity of data and the danger of
wresting false conclusions from data. I was atheist for many years until I
learned that I wasn’t rejecting God, but rather rejecting the many
falsehoods I had heard about God. I learned how to commune with God, and how to
experiment with the Word of God and feel it enlarge my soul. I have conducted
the experiment thousands of times over many years, and I cannot refute the data.
My faith is not blind, but seeing. It is a discovery that must be first-hand,
but it is available to any who sincerely desire to know if there is a God.
If biblical God is our ultimate arbiter, then how does one explain social order
and morality within societies where there is no belief in God? How can one
explain the beautiful works created by those who are not religious? And why is
it necessary to have such a belief in order to be a kind, caring, responsible
and productive member of a society?The Bushmen of the Kalahari are
among the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa where they have resided for at
least 20,000 years. Given the often inhospitable environment, this is truly
amazing. And these people have avoided the many societal ravages which have
plagued the planet for centuries. They are one of the oldest, if not the oldest
peoples in the world. They have no church, no Holy texts, no God of Abraham.
If we get our sense of morality from God, is an act moral because God says it
is? If so, is it moral to kill your own son when God commands you to (as in
Abraham and Isaac)? Is it immoral to let your disobedient child live, instead
of stoning him as God commands (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)?Alternatively,
is the morality of an act determined independently from God's commandments
(as written down and interpreted by men)?I submit that morality is
independent of our conception of God, and this is why most cultures have similar
moral views - they are based on what is required for human beings to live
productively in a society. As our society has changed, our views of what is
moral have changed as well. Our society used to think that owning slaves was a
moral action, in accordance with God's wishes. Now our morality has
evolved. This is not because the Bible has changed, but because our society has
changed.Morality is independent of God or even belief in God, in my
opinion. You can be good without God, and most nonbelievers are. You can be
good with God, and most believers are.
I won't even bother picking apart the weak arguments in this disjointed
article. Instead, I'll just offer this observation: True
scholars/scientists/thinkers are open to all available evidence and draw
appropriate conclusions based on that evidence. They are happy to admit error
when evidence comes along that strongly disproves any theories. There is a
humility involved in their work to uncover as much truth as they can about our
universe. By contrast, theistic apologists in general and Mormon apologists
like Peterson start with an unassailable certainty which they have been
indoctrinated with by the religious leaders and holy books of their choice, and
then they cherry pick the evidence that seems to aid their cause while
dismissing the rest. There is a special kind of arrogance needed for that
Morality is. Is it from God, or biological evolution? I don't know. I am
a Marxist, but only to the degree that I accept Marx's econometrics.
It's not true Marxists are necessarily atheists. I believe and hope there
is a God, I'm just not sure. In the meantime I accept that morality is.
Indeed, Marx was concerned with the spiritual connection (though he
wouldn't be caught dead saying it outright) between men and their work.
Secularism and atheism are becoming more prevalent today - even in modern
America, a country that was founded by those who believed in God. What is
glaringly missing in the discussion so far is the absence of the totality of
religion and God which encompass pre-mortal existence. Included in that is the
faith that I have in the knowledge that every person born in this world is
endowed with divine innate light and awareness. It’s called the Light of
Christ. Therefore whether you were born as a bushman or tribal savage, an
important “moral seed” has been placed in you by virtue of a
pre-mortal spirit existence. This knowledge that the spirit component existed
with God helps explain moral choices without religion. We should not claim to
know and understand everything hence the fickleness that reason can sometimes
bring. I have learned from philosophers and scientists and I have acquired
knowledge and reason to help me with my journey but FAITH in a LOVING GOD and
his program/plan for me has just as much, if not a more profound effect on my
deeper understanding of life.
You,I agree. We need to be open to all available evidence. That is
precisely what got me here.The Skeptical Chymist,Goodness is an attribute of God. If he were not good (moral) then He would
not be God and, even if He were, He would not be worth following.Fkratz,“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every
man, that he may know good from evil”Tyler D,I do
not believe that God has any need to suspend physical laws any more than I do to
start a car or use a telephone.
We need to separate transcendent experience from religion as a set of beliefs.
People have been having profound (spiritual, for lack of a better
way of putting it) experiences of self transcendence for a long time. These
experiences and how they make people feel (and most importantly change their
lives) have been had by people in all cultures and traditions - although if they
include visions or voices, those are always conditioned by ones culture and
beliefs, which is why Hindus don't see Christ and Christians don't see
Krishna - regardless of whether they are polytheists, theists, or atheists
(e.g., Buddhist mystics).What these experiences don't do -
whether a warmth in the bosom, a powerful vision, or a mystical sense of oneness
with the universe - is confirm the truth of any one religion. If they did, only
people who believed the "true religion" would have them. If believing
certain religious explanations about the world, a pre/after-life, how we get
morality, or in the truth of a sacred book, helps someone have these
experiences, great! But please stop claiming certainty of and superiority for
your beliefs as the only way.
If the shoe fits, wear it:"O that cunning plan of the evil one!
O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are
learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God,
for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their
wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.But
to be LEARNED is GOOD IF they HEARKEN unto the counsels of GOD." Book of
Mormon (emphasis mine).God is Wonderful!
Kouger: do you really want to quote a text with so many anachronisms?
@ the Skeptical: Your rhetorical questions cut both ways. If we can be moral
without God, then is it moral to kill people who disagree with us politically?
Is it moral to believe in social Darwinism? Is survival of the fittest moral?
Is it moral to cull the herd? (etc.) Further, you place the cart before the
horse. Is there a God? If there is, then what is He like? You suggest that
there is no God because you disagree with Him, but to disagree with Him means
that he exists.@ You: You imply by your post that you do not accept
the witness of the Holy Ghost as evidence of anything. Scientists/scholars,
like the "arrogant" Mormons you decry, believe in their evidence, and
they often draw conclusions based on the evidence they have, even if it is
incomplete. Your contrast of the "humble" scientist with the
"arrogant" Mormon is disingenuous. What if the scientist/scholar is a
believing Mormon? Are you suggesting that Peterson's doctorate or
expertise somehow are canceled because he's a believing Mormon?@ Tyler D: Have you done a comprehensive study of "profound
experiences"? How do you know they can't bring certainty?
If morality were a product of evolution, why do we not behave as the rest of the
species on earth? We and the apes match DNA by 97%. So why aren't I killing
my neighbors for food, taking over their habitat, murdering a young
mother's infants so she'll breed again (like lions do), and a host of
other cruel acts. Is my refusal to do these things found in the 3% of my DNA
which is unique to humans? That's it? The existence of
'morality' is attributable to a mere 3% of DNA? Maybe so,
for all you skeptics and atheists out there. But I'm not sure. Morality to
me seems to be something 'real' and tangible, something we all can
agree is necessary. Nobody here wants their money stolen from them. But if
morality is a product of chance, why not take your wallet and run?
@JeffMy point is that we have all rejected the morality of the
Bible, because our human rationality tells us that we must do so to live in a
moral society. Our sense of morals is independent of what the Bible tells us.
Thus, our sense of what is moral does not come from religion. None of us now
advocate for the "justice" of Deuteronomy, because we perceive it to be
unjust.We are a social species, and we determine what is moral or
not based on what maximizes human liberty, subject to what is good for society.
Your examples of "culling the herd", killing those we politically
disagree with, survival of the fittest, and social Darwinism are all grossly
immoral because they damage us as a society, and because they diminish our
humanity. I don't know anyone who advocates for these things, though
I'm sure such repellent people exist.
It seems to me that we are using "morality" as it had only one universal
definition and action.All the examples of immorality presented here such
as killing cats and others. May seem immoral to our culture. However, burning
babies as offering to Baal in the OT, was what those believers thought was
moral. Abraham thought something similar. Why do we demonize Darwin?
The man was brilliant and brought light to our understanding of ourselves and
the world. His theory is not incompatible at least with my belief in God. On the
contrary brings reason to a world of superstitions.If Professor
Peterson is looking for something that defies evolution. Perhaps he should
search on why some poeple self sacrifice or help enemies, or put their lives in
danger for strangers. These things tend to contradict our impulse and instinct
for survival that is key in evolution. Just a thought.
@The Skeptical ChymistIf you actually read the story God NEVER
commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son.Abraham chose to tie up his
son for sacrifice, and God blessed his obedience with another animal to
sacrifice--@Ernest T. BassYour monkeys are
not moral they are just docile or violent.The monkey are not using
any morality.--In evolution there is no morality, there
is doing whatever is ever necessary to assure the survival of the individual or
doing what comes natural.A monkey can violent or docile
naturally.The cow is docile naturally not by moral choice.The lion kills other creatures not by moral by natural need to feed.For Morality you must have a choice,Evil exists because we have a
choice,Good exist because we have a choice.God has
taught we need to overcome the natural manthe natural man operates
on instinct and satisfying natural needs.Morals come from a higher
law a spiritual law they override instincts and satisfying a need for a greater
Good.A Good that does not matter in evolution.Thank God
there is no evolution, and we have choice to become something greater than our
All truths are consistant with the laws of nature. Nature is god. It is
encouraging that Mr. Peterson is getting in touch with nature, now if he can
just learn to accept it with out trying to personalize it with fancy names and
@the truthI know the story of Abraham and Isaac well (although I am
sure there are other interpretations). God commanded Abraham to take his son,
Isaac, to Mount Moriah, and to sacrifice him. As Abraham prepared to do so,
after binding Isaac, God told him that now he knew that Abraham feared God, and
told him to release his son, and instead to sacrifice a ram caught in a thicket
nearby. According to the story, Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son
because God told him to do so. I guarantee that if this happened today, we
would consider Abraham to be a psychopath. We would send him for psychiatric
evaluation and treatment immediately. If he followed through on this act, his
defense that God told him to do so would be considered proof of insanity, rather
than piety. Yet, Christians and Jews celebrate Abraham as a righteous man.
Even if it were just God testing Abraham's obedience (as Christians and
Jews claim), in my opinion Abraham absolutely failed the test. He was willing
to commit a gross evil just because he was commanded to do so.
In college a philosophy student argued that morality is based on logic, morality
is a pretty handy tool for groups to grow beyond more than a couple of dozen
people.Morality in this view is an extension of logic and it gets
its power from logic and it must be logically defensible.It makes
sense, so I did a little exercise. I went around to non-Western students and I
asked them if it wasd moral to give food or money to the poor. They universally
agreed. Then I asked, "Well, what if someone does it for appearances but
not out of genuine charity?" They all answered that it was wrong in that
case because the motives were wrong.Logical questions don't
care about the motives. 2+2 is 4. It doesn't matter if you tried to get 5
but you could not count. It is still a right answer. Logic should predate
morality because of evolution. Dumb cavemen didn't live long enough to
build villages.If morality was a logical tool the reason why one
gives to the poor should have nothing to do with the morality of the act. The
poor are fed in any case.
All cultures have morals it is not a uniquely Christian thing. They used to
call it "Natural Law" in the old days because everyone knew it
instincitively, the knew it by nature. People still do which is why various
dictators in the world will crush press freedoms because they know deep down in
their hearts that what they are doing is wrong.Morality is common to
all societies because, somehow, God, whoever that God is, put it into societies
to do things like be kind to strangers or to be fair, or to rule for the common
good rather than for a corrupt intention, not to sleep with other men's
wives, not to punish people after they help you, etc. C.S. Lewis
did a review of this in a book called "The Abolition of Man".
@ Craig Clark" ,The elements are eternal" (D&C 93:33).
(Ecc 12:7)… the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. In
(2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2)God existed before time, implying he created time.… God who gives life to the dead and Calls into Being things that
were not.(Romans 4:17 NIV)Col 1:16, For in him all things( including
angels) were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created
through him and for him. RE: What is the official LDS view of
Evolution? Christians, and Jews believe that God created all that exists
ex nihilo (out of nothing). Mormonism is quite different in its cosmology,
claiming that God fashioned the universe out of preexisting material. God is
eternal in some forms of LDS theology, but so is preexisting matter, including
the material used by God to create human beings.
@The Skeptical ChymistRead the strory, God never commanded Abraham
directly for abraham to sacrifice his son.God commanded Abraham to
go with his son and make a sacrifice, without any sacrificial animal he only
had his son, so to fulfill God commandment he had to bound his son, then his
obedience was rewarded.That is the story, read it again.
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and
Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." John 17:3We can spin our
wheels for a lifetime arguing about the existence of God, or we can get down to
business and "know" him and his son, Jesus Christ.All are
invited to partake of that feast of knowledge, but not all respond.
@Ernest T. BassAnachronisms? So the scripture applies to you (re:
“O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men.")
Anachronisms represents a fickle claim since you - and others - now conclude
that all and everything (scientific and otherwise) is settled and complete, and
that we conclusively know what is there to know and discover about anything and
everything. Think again, my friend. God is real and the Book of Mormon is
true, you just have to find it out yourself. Notwithstanding, I respect your
opinion and beliefs. Merry Christmas - if you believe.
@ The Skeptical: Who are the "we" that have "all rejected the
morality of the Bible"?And what evidence do you have that "our
human rationality" alone "tells us that we must do so to live in a moral
society"? I agree with both you and Peterson that "our sense of morals
is independent of what the Bible tells us," but I conclude, like Peterson,
that that very independence proves the existence of God. Your
reference to the "'justice' of Deuteronomy" should be part of
a separate discussion. We all want "justice." I think we're afraid
of the "justice of Deuteronomy" only because it represents a justice
that might include ourselves and not simply others. As a "social
species" we have been terrible in many of our choices for what is and
isn't moral. Hence my examples. If you don't know people that have
practiced or advocate some of the terrible things I mentioned (ie, social
Darwinism and culling the herd), perhaps you don't get around too much.
A fabulous discussion of where morals come from is The Righteous Mind: Why Good
People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. It's a
fascinating and fun read. If you want to get a flavor go out to the RadioWest
page on the KUER website and listen to the interview Doug Fabrizio did with the
author. Can't recommend it highly enough.
Jeff - “@ Tyler D: Have you done a comprehensive study of "profound
experiences"? How do you know they can't bring certainty?”Not sure about “comprehensive study” but I’ve read
many accounts of spiritual experiences across a wide range of cultures and
traditions. And you are correct that virtually all of them take their
experiences as total confirmation of the truth of their traditions and sacred
books.But… since many of these “truths” are
contradictory or mutually exclusive, what should be plainly obvious is that 1)
they cannot all be true and 2) spiritual experience is not a credible way to
prove facts about the objective world. At best, these experiences only
demonstrate that your religion puts you in a proper frame of mind and heart to
have these experiences. PS – Skeptical is right about the OT
– unless you think it is OK to stone your neighbor when he mows his lawn
on a Sunday.
@ Tyler D: I never said that "virtually all [profound experiences across a
wide range of cultures and traditions] take their experiences as total
confirmation of their traditions and sacred books."I, too, have
""read many accounts of spiritual experiences across a wide range of
cultures and traditions." I have also interviewed hundreds of people from a
wide range of religious backgrounds (including a large number of non-Christians
as well as a significant representation of Christians) about their beliefs.
Besides the Mormon standard works, I've read the Bible in other
translations, the Quran, the Tao, and a little of the Hindu text (I can't
spell it without looking at it).For these reasons, I disagree with
your conclusions. I certainly believe that "profound experiences" can
bring certainty, but I disagree that they "bring certainty" across all
cultures and religions.This question of certainty as you raise it is
couched in the inferences of Mormonism, which I accept, and which I have found
to be almost unique in its approach to certainty of religious truth and the
nature of the sort of "profound experience" that can classify as a
personal revelation from God.
@the truth"If you actually read the story God NEVER commanded Abraham
to sacrifice his son.Abraham chose to tie up his son for sacrifice,
and God blessed his obedience with another animal to sacrifice"Genesis 222 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac,
whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for
a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an
altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him
on the altar upon the wood.10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand,
and took the knife to slay his son.---Sounds like a command to
sacrifice him. I used the LDS scripture website so I hope you consider that to
be an acceptable translation of the Bible to use.
I don't get all the arguing here. I personally have friends who do not
consider themselves spiritual, and yet are extremely moral people. A rational
non-believer can up to very moral decisions without acknowledging there is a
God.I personally believe in a God very deeply. I try my best to
live a moral life. But an honest look through history does see evolution of
morality. 150 years ago society had a great moral debate about whether
government had the right to determine if it was moral to own another human being
- denying them of their free agency - a practice that had continued for
thousands of years. Up until the 1800s, it was moral for christians
to put others to death because of their faith, The muslim faith is wrestling
with that current moral debate now. Sacrifice, polygamy, how we view other
races, have all had moral changes to them.We need to be careful in
attributing too much to God.
@The Skeptical Chymist@atl134While I may have got the story
wrong, It was test of Obedience, and nothing "immoral" actually
happened in the end.God commanded Abraham to go do sacrifice h9is
son, God did have him actually do it. As we can see God was never going to let
it happen and so the story could not end any other way.If Abraham
disobeys Issac lives,If Abraham obeys Isaac still lives after all is said
and done.AS far as stonings go, again there's nothing immoral
about the Law of Moses, The children of Israel were so disobedient and wicked,
that God was needed give them a stricter lower law to follow. Perhaps to punish
them and certainly to teach them Obedience.And it was ONLY given to
given to them. I would be immoral for God, as any parent, not to tend to
disobedient children and do what necessary to make them a better people.To judge God when we do not have his wisdom, perspective, understanding,
and knowledge of all things, people, and of the future, and of all truth, seems
quite foolish on our part, when we are little children to him.
There is no atheistic theory of morality that can objectively ground morality.
Every one of these theories is built around something intrinsic to man, whether
it is reason, evolution, society, or some secularized version of the golden
rule. It's all subjective. And if you ground your morality in something
that can change (i.e., man, the LDS god), then your morality is equally subject
to change, capable even of contradicting itself as it evolves.The
most coherent atheistic system is nihilistic; it recognizes any moral principles
for what they are-- man-made constructs that are subject to change. Herein lies
the danger of atheism and Mormonism. There are no guarantees. The Mormon god can
reveal one truth, and then abrogate that truth with a further revelation. Man
can write the American constitution one century, and then overturn it in
another.Nihilism is the logical outcome of your systems. There is no
unchangeable foundation. God is not 100% trustworthy.Orthodox
Christianity offers a solution to these problems, with morality objectively
grounded in an eternal, immaterial, immutable, all-good Being. Anyone genuinely
interested should YouTube William Lane Craig's teachings on morality.
It is unclear to me how Dr. Peterson, as a Mormon, can distinguish his view from
naturalistic morality. Any criticism that can be leveled against atheistic moral
systems can be redirected toward the LDS worldview, because both are at bottom
100% materialistic. What exacerbates this problem for the LDS is the
Big Bang, which was mentioned by Dr. Peterson in his article. There was
literally nothing "before" the Big Bang: no matter, no energy, no space,
no time, and therefore with respect to the LDS universe, no gods, no law, no
law-giver. There is nothing eternal in a materialistic universe. Moreover, how
can there be an eternal law without an eternal law-giver? The Latter-day Saint
cannot evade this charge.Why do we need to grovel at the feet of a
being who emerged from the same evolutionary processes as we did? Remember, as
man is, god once was. Worship is owed to nothing emerging from the Big Bang. A material universe is just as purposeless and amoral to an imperfect,
albeit powerful, human being (the LDS god), as it is to us.
@the truthIs Obedience to a God who commands you to perform an
immoral act (i.e., the sacrifice of Isaac) a morally valid choice? According to
my understanding, Abraham did not know that God was only testing his obedience.
He did not know that God would not demand he follow through, and was prepared to
follow through with the act. That tells me all I need to know. Abraham was not
acting in any way that I would recognize as moral, and neither was the God he
thought was commanding him.I would not want to emulate
Abraham's code of morality, and would not teach it to my children. Neither
would I want to worship a God who demands animal sacrifices, let alone one who
demands that his followers be willing to sacrifice their own children to him.
The fact that, in the story, God did not demand that Abraham follow through
changes nothing.I think that most Christians reject the God
exemplified in this story, and do not hold with any of the ideas of Old
Testament justice/morality. This is good, and proves my original point.
Morality comes from within us - not from an ancient text.
RE: the morality of the Bible,Law and Gospel.1) The civil use, as a
force to restrain sin. This falls under the general revelation as well as
natural law (cf. Rom 1-2). 2) The pedagogical use is the law also
shows people their sin and points them to mercy and grace outside of themselves.
“the use of the law for the confrontation and refutation of sin and for
the purpose of pointing the way to Christ” . (Gal 3:24)3) The
normative use . That is, this use of the law is for those who trust in Christ
and have been saved through faith apart from works. It “acts as a norm of
conduct, freely accepted by those in whom the grace of God works the good, this
use of the law is for those who trust in Christ and have been saved through
faith apart from works. "The Law is for the proud and the Gospel for
the brokenhearted." - Martin Luther
@The Skeptical ChymistAgain it was NOT immoral to God who knew the
ends thereof.And if Abraham knew the ends of the test it not be much
of a test, would it?The Old testament laws were given only to the
Children of Israel and no other, for reason already mentioned previously.Christians live by the NEW testament, or the higher law. Even Jews no
longer live strictly by the law of Moses, and since God has done away with it
(fulfilled in Christ), I would guess that does not bother him.NO one
is expected to live by the the lower law. You seem the believe you
understand everything that God has commanded from God's perspective, and
that is where you err.For someone who is Eternal and all things are
Eternal he has created including us, who can create life and raise the dead
with not more than a thought or word, I do not think death means much to him.While death from our perspective seems like an ultimate and great
thing.Understanding God and his Eternal nature help put his
commandments and gospel in perspective.Our view of
"morality" can be very limited.
Wow. If "the truth" is correct, we must never judge anything to be evil,
much less fight against what we think is evil, lest haply we be fighting against
god's tricky plans unawares!This view is ancient gnostic
nonsense, and completely undermines morality. We must pray nobody takes such
muddleheadedness seriously. Any morality in which the ends are used to justify
the means is a sure sign of moral bankruptcy and a fast track to amorality.
Ether 4:11-12"For because of my Spirit [they] shall know that
these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.12 And
whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none
save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good;" God is THE source of morality! That's my faith, belief and testimony!
It is so strange to me that people can say the Abraham story is a real
reflection of god. In my opinion, god would never ask a person to sacrifice
their own child. It is almost as if people, even today, can get away with
anything if they just say it is part of their religion or that god told them to
do something. So if that is the case, the terrorists who crashed into the twin
towers should be forgiven immediately because that is what their god wanted them
to do, right? People still practice polygamy because they believe that god
commanded it. Brian David Mitchell kidnapped Elizabeth Smart because he believed
he was commanded to do so. How are those any different than Nephi slaying Laban
because he was commanded to do so by god? The point is if something is wrong,
you can't claim it is right because god told you to do it. That opens the
door for anybody to follow that path of logic and we are all in trouble.@ thetruth - you may want to actually read the story of Abraham and get
it right before accusing somebody else of getting the story wrong.
RE: Brahmabull, It is so strange to me that people can say the Abraham story is
a real reflection of god.Abraham Offered Isaac (Genesis 22) is A Type Of
Christ(prophecy).Isaac (Genesis 22) Jesus, Only son of promise (v. 2
) ;Only begotten of Father (John 3:16). To be sacrificed in Moriah
(v. 2) . Sacrificed in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 3:1)Considered dead by
father for three days (v. 4). Dead for three days (1 Cor. 15:3-4)Carried wood for his own sacrifice (v. 6. ). Bore his own cross (John
19:17-18)Submitted willingly to father (vv. 6, 8). Submitted
willingly to Father (Matt. 26:39)Raised from altar, his life spared
by the power of God . Raised from the dead by the power of God (Rom. 6:4)Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to
life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the